Best selfie editing phone applications

Photo via falh/Flickr (CC-BY)

This ain't your grandma's makeup filter.

Between being bombarded by Kim Kardashian's internet-breaking mirror pics and your teenage nephew’s edgy Snapchat-filtered photos, the pressure to take attractive yet effortless selfies is on.

Gone are the days when raising your phone at arm’s length and pouting ever so slightly created the perfect selfie. Now you practically need your own makeup artist, photographer, and lighting crew just to make internet waves—or so it seems.

Thanks to modern technology, however, studio-quality selfies are as easy as downloading a smartphone application. In just a matter of screen taps and swipes, you can put your best face forward with these five free selfie apps.

1) AirBrush: The carefully crafted selfie

So you want a few blemishes cleared, your teeth whitened, a few “problem areas” enhanced, and the perfect filter to show off that wild background? Take care of it all with AirBrush. While some apps might overdo it and make you look like a cake-faced baby doll, AirBrush allows users to custom-edit photos to achieve the bare minimum enhancements or go all out with skin color brushes, wrinkle remover, and more. 

Simply import your photo, make edits with a few screen pinches and strokes, and voilá: Your selfie is ready to make its debut. You can also compare before and after photos during the editing process, test out your editing prowess on a model, and watch demonstrations for each editing tool. Once you’re done, save your selfie to your camera roll.

Available on iPhone and Android.

Screengrab via AirBrush - Best Selfie Editor/iTunes Preview

2) YouCam Makeup: The glamorous selfie

From achieving the natural makeup look to throwing on a pair of dramatic false eyelashes and red lipstick, YouCam Makeup takes the average naked-faced selfie to the next level. While the app offers a plethora of preset looks, users can also personalize their makeup for each feature of their face and pick out hairstyles and accessories. 

After uploading a selfie and choosing your look, “Fine Tune” and reposition the makeup to fit your features, or “Compare” to see how the look stacks up to the original.

Available on iPhone and Android.

Screengrab via YouCam Makeup/iTunes Preview

3) VSCO: The artsy selfie

While it doesn’t have the beautifying tools that the previous two apps have, VSCO Cam makes up for its shortcomings with its highly specific photo-editing tools and filters. From preset filters fit for any quick selfie-snapper to the ability to change aspect ratios, highlights, shadows, and more, the possibilities are nearly endless. Simply create an account, upload your photos, and adjust away. 

Like the way you stylized one photo but don’t want to go through the trouble of doing it all over again? In your photo library, tap the photo to “copy” the edits then tap another photo to “paste." When you’re done, you can save your selfie, upload it to social media, or send it to a friend directly from the application.

Available on iPhone and Android.

Screengrab via VSCO/iTunes Preview

4) GoCam by Crunchfish: The hands-free selfie

Sometimes you don’t always want your photo to appear like a traditional selfie, arms awkwardly running out of frame and body closely cropped. With GoCam, you can ditch the selfie sticks, the pricey wireless remotes, and the inconvenient self-timers to achieve a hands-free selfie portrait. From up to three meters away, the app recognizes gestures to take photos and videos, either instantly or with a timer of up to five seconds.

Available on iPhone.

Screengrab via GoCam/iTunes Preview

5) Snapchat: The lazy selfie

Sometimes you just want to look cute but don’t have the energy to work for it. With popular selfie “lenses” such as the cute puppy and the Coachella flower crown, Snapchat takes all the guesswork out of adjusting filters and reshaping facial features. After making an account through the application, press the icon in the top-right corner until you see yourself in the front-facing camera. Then, tap and hold down your finger on the image of your face.

When a white web maps over your face, Snapchat has recognized your facial features, and a row of lens options will appear along the bottom of the screen. Scroll through a few until you find the one that suits your ‘tude and press the shutter button to take a photo. When your photo appears on the screen, press the icon of the the arrow pointing downward (located in the bottom-left corner of the screen), which will save the selfie to your camera roll. Happy snapping! 

Available on iPhone and Android.

Screengrab via Snapchat/iTunes Preview

Just getting started on Snapchat? Be sure to check out our guides on how to get more followers, make on-demand geo-filters, and how to flirt on Snapchat.

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